How to prepare for a great job interview.
How to prepare for a great job interview.
Preparing for a Job Interview: A Great Job Interview Guide Can Make You a Top Candidate
When you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s common to get nervous about what kinds of questions you’re going to be asked by the interviewer. You know you’re going to get some common questions, as well as, a few curve balls. But, the questions aren’t the only part of the interview that can trip you up. There’s all types of things you need to be concerned about, from the type of clothing you wear to what you had to eat before the interview.
Just landing an interview these days is a big success. Now all you have to do is show the employer that you’re the right fit for the position. This is easier said than done, because there are all sorts of subtle things, that will happen between you and your interviewer, that can make the difference between them being very enthusiastic about you, or, wishing the interview ends in a hurry.
You may not even be aware of these subtle signals you’re giving them, but to the interviewer, they stand out like a sore thumb. This is why it’s always good to get some kind of job interview training that helps you to improve your interviewing skills.
Even if you think you already know how to present yourself well in an interview situation, there’s always things that you can improve upon that will give you the edge over your competition. Remember, you’ve only got one shot at meeting this employer. If you blow it, you’ll have to wait who knows how long until the next good opportunity comes along.
This is why you need to be able to give it your all while you’ve got this golden opportunity. Now, there are a variety of job interviewing tools and resources online that can give you much needed tips and techniques. You can spend a lot of time tracking down all of these tips yourself, or, you can invest in an interview guide that has everything right there in one place.
Is this type of informative guide going to cost you a bit of money?
You darn right it is.
But, let me ask you this, how much is it worth to be able to confidently stroll into an interview, already knowing that you’re going to become one of their top candidates?
What? You think this isn’t possible? Well, I can assure you that it is.
All it takes is knowing things like: how to dress to impress, how to use your body language to your advantage, what words to say that makes you more attractive to an employer, being aware of what you should not do, and dozens of other little things that most people never learn.
The best interviewing guides are designed to be like a mini super course that teaches you exactly how to become a desirable candidate . Believe me when I say that it’s not all about the resume. Sure, your resume gets you in the door, but when you come face to face with a real live human being, it’s another story.
The truth is, employers hire people who they like and feel comfortable around. From the moment you hit that office, to the time that you leave, you’ll be judged on how well you fit in with the rest of the people who work there. This is a reality that everyone looking for their next job has to face. The more likeable you are, the better your chances are of getting the job.
So, what makes you more likeable?
Ah, you see that’s the difficult part. There are some tried and true techniques that can really help you out with that, but, of course, you’ll need to read the guide to find out what they are.
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Here’s a fun look at a serious problem — how do you get more job interviews? Then, how do you get the job offer? “Nick Danger”, aka Rick Nelles, president of www.proveitandwin.com, says the secret is to prove your performance with an Interview Portfolio (“I-Folio) and Online Portfolio (“E-Folio”). Proving your resume claims helps you get the competitive edge in this tough job market.
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Six Great Tips for Job Screening Interviews
The job screening interview may be conducted in person or by telephone. It is almost always a behavioral interview (questions about your past often predict your future action) conducted by just one person. It is very common for recruiters to screen candidates by phone as it is the quickest way to ascertain a candidate’s skill set, qualifications and match to the job opportunity. Likewise, employers receiving numerous applications also find the telephone to be the best method for screening candidates for the first round.
Tip #1: Treat all interviews formally.
It might seem a bit more informal, but do not be lulled into that feeling because every interview is formal, important and critical to your success in moving onto the next interview level. At every step along the way you are being highly scrutinized. Employers are looking for elements in your resume and from your answers that confirms you might be a match for their position, but they are also interested in screening out those that simply do not match up. The sooner they can assemble a solid candidate pool of three to five top notch candidates to invite in for face-to-face interviews, the better.
Tip # 2: Always be prepared.
So whether or not you are being screened in person or by telephone, you need to be prepared no matter what for the screening interview as this is only the first in what may be several steps and interviews you will have to go through. However, assume that when you are actively job seeking and have distributed your resume, that a prospective employer is going to call you. Your phone is going to ring and you will be facing the initial screening interview. Are you prepared? Probably not. That is because the interviewer is prepared to begin asking you questions about your background, experience and achievements. You, on the other hand, usually have no idea who is calling you, and thus, may not be prepared at that moment, or even be in the situation, to carry on an interview.
Tip #3: Don’t answer your phone.
What can you do? Simple, let the caller go into your voicemail and leave you a call back message and phone number. We all live in a world of voicemail and leaving one message is usually not a problem, as long as the person returns the call in a timely manner. By letting the call go into voicemail you have some time to prepare. That way you can take a moment to compose yourself and be better prepared to call back at a time more suitable to you so you can give the best interview possible.
When you list your phone number on your resume, you can be absolutely certain an employer will use that to make an initial contact. Now you know an employer is going to call you; you must anticipate this and be prepared. Thus, it is imperative that the message on your phone is professional, warm and courteous. It should not be cute, humorous, folksy or anything else but above board and professional. This is another “first impression” and you do not want to drop the ball here.
When your phone rings and you do not recognize the caller, it is safer to let the call go to voicemail so you can return it at the right time than it is to be caught off guard and give a poorly prepared interview. You could knock yourself out of contention right at the outset, so why take such a risk?
Tip #4: Call back at your choosing.
When is the right time to call the interviewer back? As soon as you are relaxed and in a comfortable setting where you will not have annoying background noise, disturbances, interruptions, or anything that implies you are not in a professional setting and mode. You should call back as soon as possible; within minutes is best because the interviewer is eager to talk with you, already has you and your resume on their mind, is somewhat familiar with you and does not want to have to keep chasing you down.
Tip #5: Control the environment.
If you are driving and on your cell phone, pull over and get off a loud, busy street. If you are at home, go into a quiet room where no one can disturb you. Likewise, if you are at your office, close the door, use a private conference room, or go outside with your cell phone and find a suitable location (not near a door where people are going past you with greetings or might be tempted to stop and talk). Have your resume and any other important materials neatly organized and at your fingertips so you can refer to them at a moment’s notice. After all, the interviewer has them and is reading from the materials you supplied to them.
Tip #6: Get prepared for your next interview.
Assuming you have passed the initial screening interview, most likely by telephone, now what? Usually the next step is to invite you in for a more in-depth second screening interview – referred to as the qualification interview. The screening interview was to determine if you match up with the job description, possess the required job skills and requirements, and have most of the qualifications. The qualification interview will determine your strength and position within the candidate pool.
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10 Most Asked Job Interview Questions and Great Answers
After each interview question there is a concern or an additional question. Your responsibility is to process the inquiry thinking about what the interviewer’s concern might be. In other words, why is the interviewer asking you this question?
Q1 – How long have you been looking for a job? (Concern – is there something wrong with you that other employers have picked up?)
A1 – “After I was let go from my previous job, I took the break to take a little time to assess my career goals and where I was going with my life. I have just begun my search in the previous few weeks. I have a definite objective in mind and have been selective concerning the positions I contemplate. Your business and this situation are of significant interest to me.”
Q2 – How did you get ready for this career job interview? (Concern – are you interested enough to do a little research, or are you planning to “wing it”?)
A2 – “When I found this position posted on the net (monster.com) I was instantaneously attracted. I checked out the company site as well as the mission statement, looked at the bios of company founders and executives, and was impressed. After I had the job interview appointment, I talked with associates and acquaintances in the industry. Also, I’m sure I’ll find a lot more during today’s meetings.”
Q3 – What is your salary expectation for this job? (Concern – Can we manage to pay for you? Can we get you for less than budgeted?)
A3 – “I’ll want more information with reference to the job as well as the responsibilities involved before discussing salary. Can you provide me an idea of the range budgeted intended for this position?”
Q4 – How do you keep current and knowledgeable about your job and the industries that you have worked in? (Concern – Once you get the job do you continue to learn and develop – stay challenged and motivated?)
A4 – “I pride myself on my ability to stay on top of what is happening in my trade. I do a lot of reading – the business section of the newspapers and magazines. I belong to a couple of professional organizations and network with colleagues at the conferences. I take classes and seminars whenever they are of importance, or offer fresh information or technology.”
Q5 – Tell me about a time when you had to set up and coordinate a project from start to end. (Concern – behavioral questions – looking for an instance of certain past behavior)
A5 – ” I headed up a project which involved client service personnel and technicians. I organized a meeting to get everybody together to brainstorm and get his or her input. From this business meeting I drew up a design, taking the best of the ideas. I prepared groups, balancing the mixture of specialized and non-technical people. We had a deadline to meet, so I did periodic checks with the groups. After three weeks, we ended up exceeding expectations, and were able to begin implementation of the strategy. It was a enormous team effort, and a huge achievement. I was commended by management on behalf of my leadership, but I was most proud of the team determination and cooperation which it took to pull it off.”
Q6 – What types of individuals do you have difficulties working with? (Concern – ability to be flexible and work in a diverse atmosphere?)
A6 – “In my previous three jobs I have worked with men and women from vastly diverse backgrounds and cultures. The single instance I had trouble was with people who were being dishonest about work issues. I worked with one lady who was taking recognition for work that her group completed. I had an occasion to chat with her one day and explained how she was upsetting the morale. She became incredibly distressed that some others saw her that way, and believed she was unaware of her conduct or the reactions of other people. Her actions changed following our conversation. What I learned as a result of that occurrence is that from time to time what we perceive regarding other people is not always the case if we check it out.”
Q7 – We expect managers to work more than 8 hours a day. Do you have a problem with that? (Concern – are you a work-aholic or a person who requires balance?)
A7 – “I have no trouble working lengthy hours. I have worked 12 or 14 hour days. What I have found works for me is to work smarter, not necessarily for a longer time. My target is to get the job completed, whatever that calls for, in the most efficient manner.”
Q8 – When have you been most pleased in your career? (Concern – what motivates you? Or demotivates you?)
A8 – “The job prior to the one I am currently at, was my most satisfying experience for me. I worked in a wonderful team setting. There was a lot of camaraderie. I worked with a group of four people and we did some truly creative thinking. It is that style of setting I would like to be involved in again.”
Q9 – Why do you want this job? (Concern – are you using the shot-gun approach to job search or do you in fact realize what you desire?)
A9 – “I’ve been especially careful about the organizations where I have applied. As soon as I saw the advertisement for this opportunity, I recognized I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job is my seven years of knowledge, and knowledge of the industry, along with my ability to connect and create customer relationships. That, along with my versatility and organizational competencies, makes me a perfect match for this opportunity. I perceive a few challenges in the future of me here, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.”
Q10 – We are ready to put together an offer. Are you prepared to accept today? (Concern – we do not desire you to go away and deliberate about it and change your mind – we desire you.)
A10 – “Based on my research and the information I have gathered throughout the job interview process, I feel I am in a place to consider an offer. I do, nevertheless, have a personal policy that I give myself at least 24 hours to make key life decisions. I could let you know by tomorrow.”
There is no way you can precisely predict the questions that will be asked in a job interview, however you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the points that might concern an interviewer or employer before the interview.
Carole Martin is a celebrated author, trainer, and counselor. Carole can offer you interviewing ideas like no one else can. Pick up a copy of her FREE trial of Interview Questions and Answers by visiting Carole on the web http://www.interviewcoach.com/answer-guide/
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